TAMPA, Fla. -- Newly signed reliever Andrew Bailey is trying to look at his Minor League contract with the Yankees as a two-year deal, even though it's really a one-year pact with an option. But that doesn't mean he's given up hope on 2014 just yet.
Bailey, the former A's closer who is recovering from serious shoulder surgery, reported to George M. Steinbrenner Field on Monday. The 29-year-old is playing catch from 120 feet and is seven months into a 12-month rehab process, ideally putting him in line to return to the Majors down the stretch this season.
"The timetable and all that kind of stuff, I'm not going to rush it. I'm going to do it right. I've rushed injuries in the past, and I know how that works out," Bailey said. "This one especially, this is something where if it gets hurt again, and that capsule, it doesn't look great.
"I've got to do it right. Everything's going great right now, and I have a full expectation to pitch this year."
Bailey will be spending much more time rehabbing in Florida, even after the Yankees head north for the regular season. Still, the Voorhees, N.J., native said it's "something special" to put on the Yankees' pinstripes.
"I think it's a good opportunity for me, and obviously if I get back to being myself, helping this team win another championship is what it's about. ... Having guys of this stature to be able to talk to, and understand the process, and go through it, was really important to me. I valued that.
"Still a long road, but I'm in a great spot, with a great opportunity, with a great organization that knows what's ahead and is willing to walk that road with me."
Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.